Heritage protection

We protect the heritage of our land by ensuring that works are properly planned for. If we identify an unregistered item of heritage significance, we take appropriate steps to either avoid impacting these items or recover these items in accordance with the ACT Heritage Act 2004.

The Cotter

The catchment was a traditional dwelling point for Aboriginal people with an abundance of Aboriginal cultural history.  To ensure that the Cotter’s indigenous history was recorded for present and future generations, comprehensive heritage salvage and archival recording programs were undertaken when enlarging the Cotter Dam.

Aboriginal Heritage

A detailed collection of Aboriginal artefacts was conducted by Aboriginal representatives from the Ngunnawal and Ngarigo Aboriginal groups over the Cotter Dam construction and inundation site.

Around 4,000 artefacts were collected ranging from stone cutting tools and axe heads to grinding stones. In addition, both Aboriginal and European artefact material including artworks, photography and films of the past and the present were recorded.

In August 2013 a Return to Country ceremony was conducted as the Aboriginal artefacts were placed in a carefully selected site overlooking a reach of the dam.

European Heritage

The cultural heritage of the Cotter River is celebrated through the Cotter Dam Discovery Trail, a 1.4 kilometre trail built to showcase the history and heritage of the area and its significance to the Canberra community as well as providing direct views of the Cotter Dam.